Having been a pastor for almost fifty years and a University Professor for fourteen years the number one question that surfaces continually is one that a student shared with me today……. he said, “I know I have struggled with who I am and who I am supposed to be. It is a constant tug of war with what I know and what I feel. It’s a wilderness of pain for me and others.” That same statement has been asked in a myriad of ways, thousands of times to me and certainly deserves some attention and discussion.
Every life is different and cookie cutter answers are not always enough. I certainly don’t have all the answers to every life situation, but, I would like to offer some starting points for your reflection based on my personal journey.
There are three words I would like for you to remember…inability, vulnerability and dependability.
There were times in my life when I felt I could handle any situation I faced. I pretty much controlled my life with a performance attitude of I can get it done without any help from anyone. The older I became the more I realized that I was unable to handle my life alone. I needed help. My inability to change left me hanging in life without answers, making me feel unworthy and insecurity. It caused me to hide my weaknesses and sinful tendencies. It left me in a state of repentance, realizing that I was not able to bring any authentic change to my life.
My inability led me to becoming transparent, but more importantly, vulnerable. Transparency is when you open yourself to share your struggles, failures, difficulties and unanswered questions with trusted friends. However, vulnerability is when you allow others to speak into your life. This was a life changer for me. I cannot even emphasize enough the importance of being vulnerable. I have friends with whom I have allowed to view my life and observe areas that have transformed my thinking and direction. Do you have a trusted friend(s) with whom you allow to help you and are you willing to be vulnerable?
This brought me to the realization that I needed to ultimately trust God and others with my life and all my secret stuff. My dependence on God and others brought real meaning to my life. Naturally, there is some risk in trusting others, however, take it from someone who knows…….it works and is well worth it. It was a great day when I realized that I needed God and others to help me through life. It brought me freedom that I had never experienced.
The above will not be an overnight change, however, heading in that direction will transform your life. What will you do with this?